Firefly Aerospace Selects Redwire as Key Mission Partner in Lunar Lander Mission to Launch in 2023

Blue Ghost lunar lander (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., August 18, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, has been awarded a subcontract from Firefly Aerospace to provide avionics and critical navigation systems for their Blue Ghost lunar lander. Firefly Aerospace was awarded a contract to deliver a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023 for  NASA’s Artemis program. The award is part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services  (CLPS) initiative, in which NASA is securing the service of commercial partners to quickly land science and technology payloads on the lunar surface.

“Redwire is proud to be a key partner on this lunar mission that will demonstrate new commercially-developed capabilities to explore the Moon’s surface,” said Al Tadros, Chief Growth Officer and Executive Vice President of Space Infrastructure for Redwire. “Our next-generation technology delivers critical capabilities for today’s most advanced lunar missions and exploration objectives.”

“We are proud to select Redwire as a key partner,” said Shea Ferring, Senior Vice President, Spacecraft for Firefly. “Their expertise in interplanetary missions was an important factor in choosing them.”

Through the contract with Firefly, Redwire is to provide the core avionics for the Blue Ghost lander as well as 10 cameras for the lander and the Optical Navigation System that Blue Ghost will use for descent and landing on the lunar surface. The camera system developed for Blue Ghost provides situational awareness and payload support including ultra high-definition video captured throughout the mission.  The optical navigation system includes terrain relative navigation and hazard avoidance computation within Redwire’s Vision Navigation Processor.

“Redwire is proud to support Firefly in making this mission possible,” said Adam Biskner, Executive Vice President of Engineering Solutions for Redwire. “Redwire’s expertise in avionics, cameras and visual navigation systems will help enable the success of the Blue Ghost lander’s mission to advance understanding of the Moon’s scientific and economic potential.”

The Blue Ghost lander will touch down in Mare Crisium, after running some of the onboard experiments and technology demonstrations during transit and orbit. The lander will then operate on the lunar surface for 14 days (one lunar day), collecting data on the lunar surface to prepare for a future human presence on the Moon. The lander is slated to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2023.

Building on decades of flight heritage, Redwire provides high performance space camera and navigation systems for human and robotic spacecraft requiring machine vision, optical navigation, science, remote sensing, photogrammetry, inspection, video monitoring, and mission documentation for commercial, civil space and defense applications. Redwire cameras were recently selected for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) 1A delivery to Reiner Gamma as a part of the Applied Physics Lab’s Lunar Vertex science instrument suite. 

About Redwire

Redwire is a leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, with valuable IP for solar power generation and in-space 3D printing and manufacturing. With decades of flight heritage combined with the agile and innovative culture of a commercial space platform, Redwire is uniquely positioned to assist its customers in solving the complex challenges of future space missions.

For more information, please visit www.redwirespace.com.  

About Firefly Aerospace

Firefly is developing a family of launch and in-space vehicles and services that provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability. Firefly’s launch vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to ten metric tons of payload at the lowest cost per kg in the small-launch class. Combined with Firefly’s in-space vehicles, such as the Space Utility Vehicle and Blue Ghost Lunar Lander, Firefly provides the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon or beyond. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, TX. 

For more information please see: www.firefly.com